HANSON — Board of Health and Conservation agent Matthew Tanis has resigned from his positions in Hanson effective July 31.
He has accepted the position as health agent for the town of Raynham.
Selectmen accepted his resignation as conservation agent with regret at the Tuesday, July 24 meeting. Selectmen are not responsible for hiring a health agent — that is the purview of the Board of Health, which had already accepted his resignation — so the board did not have to vote on that letter.
“This position has given me invaluable knowledge and experience, and for that I am very grateful,” Tanis wrote to Town Administrator Michael McCue in his letter of resignation as Health Agent. “Please know that this decision was a very difficult one to make. I value the time I have spent working for the town of Hanson and the friends I have made during my tenure.”
He explained that he had left the conservation role July 9 because the extra duties, including open space management, required more than the 20 hours per week he was contracted for, but McCue said he had spoken to Tanis about working in that role until his July 31 departure as well.
Selectman Matt Dyer requested that an exit interview be conducted with Tanis to determine whether there is enough support for the health and conservation departments. He also asked that the results of that exit interview be shared with the board.
“When you lose one employee in a two-person department, [you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed],” Dyer said.
Tanis has been setting up arrangements with individuals who can perform perc tests, restaurant inspections and other services until a new Health Agent can be hired.
“I think we’re going to be alright in the short term,” McCue said.
“He was an asset and I’m sorry to see him go,” Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “I do wish him the best.”
Also submitting resignations — from the Hanson Housing Authority — were Joseph Weeks and Benjamin Fletcher, both citing personal reasons.
With only three members left on that board, FitzGerald-Kemmett asked what Selectmen could do to help fill the vacancies. McCue said it would be on the Tuesday. Aug. 14 agenda as there are also things, as far as ensuring that proper election protocol is followed, that have to be addressed. Both positions are elected so, while Selectmen votes to accept were not required, he said it would be a good move to make.
In other business, Whitman-Hanson Community Access TV Executive Director Eric Dresser provided an update on progress on activities and equipment updates at the facility.
“We’re in a really great place right now,” Dresser said, noting that back-reporting has been caught up and an annual inventory had been conducted with outdated equipment sold off, recycled or otherwise disposed in order to free up space for more modern equipment.
New windows have also been installed to ensure better energy savings and in-studio sound quality. An editing lab has also been installed, creating more opportunities for community members to work on video projects as well as for WHCA to bring in more interns for continuing education opportunities.
“We’re a lot like the library that way, where all of our equipment can be checked out and used,” Dresser said.
Making WHCA camera equipment available to the community is aimed at “finding its way to the channel” rather than for personal projects, because Comcast bills finance the equipment, Dresser explained.
“There’s certain things that end up, as we say, on the cutting room floor and we understand that,” he said. “It’s not that everything has to end up on the channel but we’d like some things to come onto the channel for the people of the community to enjoy.”
FitzGerald-Kemmett said the WHCA staff is very helpful in showing people how to use cameras and editing equipment.